How to Dress a Large Bust

How to Dress a Large BustWhat’s the easiest way to dress a large bust, so it stops becoming the focal point of every outfit?

I mean it’s one thing when you want “the girls” to take center stage, but it can be frustrating when you don’t. If you’ve ever had a conversation with a man who stared at your chest instead of your face the entire time, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

So how do you shift the focus?

With a little sleight of hand.

Start with:

The Right Size Bra

Your bustline should hit midway between your shoulders and elbows. Your bra should encase all of your breast tissue, with nothing overflowing above, below, or sideways. The band should lay smooth against your ribs and back with no unsightly bulges. The shoulder straps should stay in place without slipping off your shoulders or requiring constant readjustment.

If that doesn’t sound like your bra, it’s time for a new one. You can get fitted at Victoria’s Secret or any number of upscale lingerie boutiques or department stores. Just call ahead to see if they have a bra fitter and make an appointment if necessary.

The right size bra

Need an extra-large cup size, like G, H, or N?

Check out online specialty retailers like:

Yes, you may pay a little more, but the comfort, fit, and confidence that goes with it is well worth the money.

Once you have a properly fitting bra, opt for:

Dark Colored Tops

Light colors make things look bigger. Dark colors make things look smaller. So if you want to make your bust look smaller, try dark colored tops, like black, brown, navy, burgundy, and forest green.

Dark Colored

A Diagonal Line

A diagonal line across the chest minimizes the bust and makes the waist look smaller. Diane von Furstenberg built her empire on a diagonal line – the wrap dress – because it’s flattering to so many figures. Try it and see for yourself.

Diagonal Line

Modest U-Shaped Neckline

A modest U-shaped neckline will visually elongate you neck and put the emphasis on your face so long as you don’t show any cleavage. Add a beautiful necklace or to-die-for earrings and the focus will be strictly from the neck up.

U-Shaped Neckline

Wide Straps

If you like to wear tops with straps, keep them an inch or so wide instead of spaghetti-skinny. Not only will a wide strap hide your bra straps, it will also offer visual balance to you bustline. Spaghetti straps won’t – they’re too small to support the load and just make your breasts look bigger.

So what should you avoid?

Tops With Bustline Details

Large prints, breast pockets, ruffles at the bustline – they all call attention to your breasts and make them look bigger. Avoid when possible.

Bust details


When you cover up your neck, attention goes to your bust because it’s the only thing protruding on your torso. Don’t want that kind of attention? Don’t wear turtlenecks.

Deep V-Necks

A deep v-neck draws eyes to the spot between your breasts – and will often keep them there until you walk away. Avoid them in business situations if you want to be taken seriously.

Button Shirts With No Darts

A shapeless button shirt will hang off your breasts, hide your waist, and visually add pounds. If you have a nice figure, try button shirts with darts instead.

Button down shirt with no

Matronly, No Shape Styles

Shapeless tops and dresses that fit your bust and hide the rest of you will make you look heavier than you are. They’ll also make you look matronly, as in old and out of shape. If you’re not or don’t want to look like it, don’t wear these unflattering styles.

Your goal is to visually minimize your bustline and balance the rest of your figure. If you have a small waist, don’t hide it beneath a shapeless top – show it off. Have a bit of a tummy in addition to a big bust? Opt for vertical lines to draw the eye up and down. Don’t focus your energy on just hiding what you don’t like; focus on camouflaging the trouble spots while calling attention to the things you like.

So what’s the bottom line?

Having large breasts shouldn’t deter you from dressing well or professionally. If you start with a good bra and follow the guidelines suggested here, you shouldn’t have any problems.


Diana Pemberton-SikesDiana Pemberton-Sikes is an image consultant and author of Wardrobe Magic. Ready to find the clothing styles that suit you best and build a wardrobe of your best looks? Wardrobe Magic can show you how.


  • Dina

    Reply Reply October 10, 2014

    Very helpful, Diane. What do you think about scarves? Good camouflage or do they accentuate a large bust?

    • Diana

      Reply Reply October 12, 2014

      Hi Dina – Glad you enjoyed it. I think scarves can be worn by any woman, depending on how they’re tied. Some ways call attention to the bust. others can call attention away from it. Check out Wendy Nyugen’s “25 Ways to Wear a Scarf” Video for some clever ideas:

  • Tyron Wimberly

    Reply Reply January 7, 2019

    I do agree with all the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They are really convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too short for starters. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

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